How To Buy Used Tesla


Whats It Like To Drive

Tips for Buying a Used Tesla

One of the most exciting aspects of driving an electric car is the instant acceleration afforded by the motors.

If someone put you in the entry-level, single-motor Model 3, hit the accelerator and asked if you thought this was the Performance, you almost certainly would. Its incredibly quick for what is pitched as a regular family car.

However, go for the Performance model and youll find yourself capable of embarrassing exotic supercars in a straight line. Its an exhilarating feeling.

Typically when you have extreme performance like this its at the expense of comfort, but the Model 3 actually does a good job of ironing out bumps in the road when youre just cruising around.

The result is a fantastic all-rounder. The Model 3 is great when youre on your own and want to have fun, but will keep your friends and family comfortable on a long journey.

Heres Everything You Need To Know Before Buying A Used Tesla Model S

A Tesla Model S can be a wise investment for your future, so long as you avoid the 2013 model.

The Tesla Model S made its debut in the June 2012. This battery-powered liftback features a dual-motor and an all-wheel-drive layout however, earlier models had a rear-motor and rear-drive setup. Upon its entrance to the market, the Model S quickly became popular among buyers, receiving praise for its range and acceleration. The Model S was the first electric car to take the top spot in every country’s monthly ranking of new car sales.

Unlike other mainstream automobile manufacturers, Tesla has taken a different approach, implementing tiny aesthetic and mechanical changes throughout each vehicle’s life cycle while investing considerable resources in software updates that improve the cars internally. The Model S has undergone numerous alterations since its launch, including improvements to its drive unit as well as exterior and interior cosmetic changes.

Although it has many praise-worthy features, there are some problems you should be aware of before buying a used Tesla Model S. Lets review the most problematic model year, which you should do your best to avoid, and take a look at the Model Ss worst issues.

What Body Styles Are Available

The Model 3 is only available as a four-door saloon. It is targeted at families looking for a premium electric vehicle without breaking the bank, but its spacious interior makes it ideal for those who need to carry adults in the rear, too.

If youre looking for a Tesla SUV, your options are the Model X, which is a much larger and more expensive vehicle, or the smaller Model Y, which sits somewhere between the two but was only launched in 2022 so used versions are harder to come by.

Also Check: Electric Cars Charging Station Cost

Used Tesla Prices By Model

According to U.S. News & World Report, Teslas have been selling used for fairly consistent prices based on the model year. Teslas cheapest model, the Model 3, sells for an average of $44,272 for a 2018 model. However, prices can exceed $62,089 for a 2020 model.

The Model S can be purchased cheaper due to its older age, with a typical used 2015 Model S coming in at around $38,879. This price can range up to $100,305 for a fully-loaded used 2020 model.

The Tesla Model X is a polarizing crossover with a ton of character behind its gullwing doors. In 2022, a used 2016 Model X can be purchased as low as $58,650, and as high as $128,643 for a newer 2019 or 2020 model with all the available options.

The Tesla Model Y, has the least amount of stock on used dealer lots, but it can still be found and purchased for as low as $64,448 or as high as $69,039, reports U.S. News.

Depreciation Of Used Teslas

Used Tesla Cheap Lovely Fresh How Much Tesla Model 3 Cost

Automakers are in a constant battle to make electric vehicles more efficient. Given the constant changes and rapid development of hybrid and electric vehicle technology, most EVs and plug-in hybrid vehicles dont hold their value well over time.

Like all used cars, an EV from the 2010s is unlikely to have the range or on-board features like a used EV from later in the decade.

Tesla has remained an exception to this rule, however. This is because the brands forward-thinking features such as self-driving technology, touchscreen navigation, and audio with Bluetooth connectivity have been prevalent with each model year.

Unlike other automotive brands, there tends to be fewer differences between an older model Tesla and a new model Tesla. There are exceptions, of course. For example, popular features like Teslas Navigate on Autopilot technology that allows the vehicle to change lanes without driver intervention didnt debut until 2019.

Nevertheless, used Tesla models appear to hold up to both the rigors of everyday driving and frequent charging.

It takes 160,000 miles for a Tesla battery to permanently lose 10% of its total power. That means that a used Tesla battery is still at 90% of its original performance capability after 160,000 miles. If youre in the market for a used Tesla vehicle, you dont need to worry about the long-term health of its battery pack, as it likely has plenty of solid charging time left.

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How Do Older Tesla Batteries Perform

Some aging in batteries is to be expected but how significantly does this affect a Tesla batterys performance?

The good news is that Tesla batteries can last up to an estimated 20-25 years, and real-world data shows them losing less than 10% of their capacity in the first 160,000 miles.

However, this does depend on the care and maintenance put into the battery, such as whether the previous owner often charged it to full capacity, how quickly they charged it, and what temperatures they drove in.

Because of this, you may want to check out the exact range of the battery if youre considering buying a used model.

If you buy a used Tesla before its 8-year battery warranty is up, you inherit the warranty, and Tesla will replace the battery pack for free if it drops below 75% of its original capacity.

Buying A Used Tesla Model S: The Ultimate Guide

When it was first released in 2012, the Tesla Model S was a game changer. It was more than just a luxury car it was the worlds first fully electric vehicle designed for the broader market. Unlike hybrids, it doesnt have a gas engine at all. It runs on electricity, and only electricity.

Its design is sleek and modern, on par with other luxury auto brands. Instead of a trunk in the back, it has a massive hatchback with an option third-row seat a feature thats practically unheard of in a luxury sedan. Freed from the burden of a gas engine, the front of the car can function as a trunk with ample storage space.

Its responsive handling and smooth feel are also a big plus for buyers. Its more than just on par with its fellow luxury brands like Audi and BMW it manages to surpass them. The Model S also doesnt compromise when it comes to sheer power. As of December 2016, its has the fastest acceleration of any car currently in production.

And yet, in spite of its power and speed, its still managed to acquire a perfect 5.0 star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The company recently announced that as of January 2017, new models will have only limited free access to Superchargers. As such, it might make sense to look into buying a used model instead. And, if youre in the market to sell a used Tesla, you couldnt ask for a better time.

A Brief History of the Model S

Tesla Goes Mainstream

A Bit About Autopilot

The 70 and 70D

The P100D

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Th Gear: Workers Fear Consequences From Idled Jeep Cherokee Plant

Stellantis has said that its Belvidere, Illinois, plant current production site of the Jeep Cherokee wont necessarily die when the crossovers production moves down to Mexico in late February. Thats little solace for the plants workers, however, who have to deal with their source of income being idled for an indeterminate period of time. From the New York Times:

With any luck, the Belvidere plant will begin producing something else EVs, most likely and keep its current staff employed. But with an economic downturn coming any second, the plants future remains unclear.

Buying A Used Tesla From Teslacom

Here are the MUST dos before buying a used Tesla

Tesla no longer offers certified pre-owned vehicles on their site, although their used vehicles have undergone an 145-point inspection. After the basic 4-year, 50,000 mile warranty expires, used Teslas are covered by a 1-year, 10,000 mile used vehicle limited warranty, but the specifics may vary based on where you purchase.

However, if youâre purchasing a newer used Tesla, you may wind up with a hefty warranty remaining once the additional used vehicle warranty is added on. Drivers who bought their used Teslas direct also reported better accuracy in trim and model options such as self-driving and battery capacity than at non-Tesla specific dealers.

Tesla, like other online retailers, will deliver a used vehicle purchased from its site with a delivery fee between $500-2,500 but you likely wonât be able to test drive or even see pictures of the exact vehicle youâd be purchasing. Unlike other dealers, the price on is non-negotiable. Privately sold vehicles with original purchase date prior to January 9, 2020 also come with lifetime premium connectivity for free.

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Buying A Used Teslanew Vs Used Prices

To start out our discussion on new vs used Teslas, lets compare prices on the four models Tesla is currently producing: Model S, Model X, Model 3, and Model Y.

Note: Just to be clear, while you can also find some used original Tesla Roadsters on the market, were not going to include them in this discussion.

Model S

A brand-new Model S, straight from the configurator, starts at about $104,990 and options all the way up to $128,990 .

Used Tesla Model S prices fall anywhere from $30,000 $140,000, spending on the year and build. Since the Model S is the earliest manufactured car in Teslas production line, you can also find them for the lowest price, but they will also have some of Teslas earliest battery packs and in many cases, some pretty high mileage.

In general, you can find recent years of the Model S with recent tech and low mileage on the used market for under $100,000 . If we base the new vs used decision on price alone, we think that it makes a lot of sense to consider a used Model S over a new one.

Model X

The Tesla Model X currently sells for a base price of $120,990 and options up to $152,490. For the Model X Plaid, pricing begins at $139,990 and options all the way up to $155,590.

A used Model X still goes for $48,000-$135,000. This variance is relatively wide since the Model X has also been out for quite a few model years. Current used prices for a Model X average about $90,000-$110,000 for recent model years .

Model 3

Model Y

Used Car Of The Day: 2019 Tesla Model 3

Would you buy a used Tesla right now, given all of Elon Musk’s controversies with Tesla and Twitter?

Would you pay $44,000 for one?

That’s what this Model 3 owner wants for a RWD car with full-self driving . We will note here that no car, including any Tesla, on the market can actually drive itself — FSD is just Tesla’s name for its semi-autonomous driving system.

The seller claims to have a clean title. The seller says that outside of a couple of door dings, the car is cosmetically clean, and he or she has kept it mostly above 70 percent charge and hasn’t used supercharging often.

He or she also says this car is fully loaded. The car is still under factory warranty until 2023.

Does a three-year-old Tesla ring your bell? Or is this a hard pass?

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.

Recommended Reading: Tesla Model Y Vs Model X

What To Look Out For

Tesla always scores highly in customer satisfaction surveys, but the one area its let down is build quality.

There have been reports of wild differences in fit and finish between cars too, meaning one Model 3 you view could be pretty much perfect while another has lots of annoying issues.

For the used buyer, that just means being extra vigilant when viewing a car. Some Model 3s have real issues with panel alignment, so go over the bodywork and make sure the lines match up. Whether this is a deal breaker is personal preference, but could point to other less obvious build issues.

Because electric cars use the brakes less, give them a check to make sure they are still in good condition. You can do this visually for signs of rust and corrosion, as well as listening out for squeaks and grinding, or signs of sticking, while on the move.

Check the glass roof for any signs of cracking, and operate the sunroof, which can become laboured and noisy if not used regularly.

Inside, the piano black trim in the centre console was poor quality on early cars and was updated as part of a mid-life refresh. Check pre-2021 cars in particular for scratches and other marks.

The synthetic leather upholstery isnt particularly hard-wearing so is prone to damage and cracking, and while youre checking for that, look for signs of water damage that could have leaked in.

/10 Reason To Buy: It’s Cheaper

Best Of Tesla Pearls

The main purpose of buying any used vehicle is down to finance. After all, if you can buy a brand new car for the same price, why would you ever want to purchase a car that already has miles in the tank?

Any used vehicle should be available at a much cheaper cost, so, for those who are desperate to get behind the wheel of a Tesla but don’t have the finances to do so at full price, this could be a perfect loophole.

It is important to actually shop around, though, as there will be more expensive and cheaper versions around dependent on what price the seller is looking for.

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What Are The Power Options

There are three versions of the Model 3. Starting with the Standard Range Plus , this has a single motor that powers the rear wheels and can go from 0-60mph in 5.8 seconds on to top speed of 140mph.

It has the lowest range of any Model 3, but official figures put it at 305 miles between charges, giving it comfortably more range than other popular EVs such as the Nissan Leaf.

Long Range models live up to their name. Coming with a twin-motor design that powers all four wheels, contributing to a 4.2-second 0-60mph time and 145mph top speed, the battery offers a range of 374 miles. If you regularly travel longer distances this is the version to aim for.

At the top of the range is the Performance model, which, again, does exactly what it says on the tin. Another dual-motor set-up, this offers extremely fast acceleration with a 0-60mph time of 3.1 seconds and 162mph top speed but range suffers slightly, at 340 miles.

General Tips For Used Tesla Shoppers

Mechanic Rich Benoit explains in a helpful Youtube video what to look for when buying a used Tesla:

  • Check for cracks or misalignments in the roof
  • Check that sunroof can open
  • Look under car for damage to the battery
  • Check for rust and corrosion on brake pads – have someone move from park to shift while you look at brake pads
  • Look at water or fog in the lights, and make sure headlight LEDs are good
  • Examine screen for bubbles or missing LEDs
  • Confirm the badge on the outside of the car matches the trim on the info cluster
  • If you can, supercharge to full to see what the full charge battery looks like.

Meanwhile, Ben Sullins gives you this advice in their video:

  • Tesla updates arenât necessarily yearly so donât get hung up on the year as much as the trim
  • Battery warranties are 8 years
  • Expect to replace tires twice as fast
  • Look for free, unlimited supercharging and premium connectivity on select older models

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Buying A Used Tesla At Trust Auto

Whether you are looking for a used Tesla Model 3 for sale or another used Tesla model, Trust Auto is the best used car dealership for your search. Since 2010, our family-founded and local-operated dealership has been the source for high-quality used cars for Maryland and Virginia customers.

Trust Auto Sales is the right-size used car dealership for you. Were large enough to have an extensive selection of premium used vehicles and small enough to know each customers unique needs and preferences. Unlike big-box mega dealers, Trust Auto is the local connection for car buyers from Baltimore, Frederick, Northern Virginia, and beyond.

Discover how Trust Auto stands out among used car dealerships in Maryland. Call or visit today and put your trust in us.

When Should You Replace The Battery On A Tesla

How to Buy a Used Tesla Model S (Part 1)

You really only need to replace your Teslas battery once its battery capacity has degraded by 20% or more.

According to Teslas founder Elon Musk, Tesla batteries can typically last 300,000 to 500,000 miles before this become necessary.

This means the battery will likely not need to be replaced frequently, and may even last longer than the car itself.

If you do need to replace your battery, it could run you between $5,000 and $7,000 make sure to take good care of your battery to avoid these costs!

Also Check: Used Tesla X For Sale

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